A slumping gutter hanging over your head is the last thing you want in your home. Besides the danger it poses, it leads to structural damage as well.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to address the problem.
Read on as we detail how to fix loose gutter nails. Plus, we’ll give you reasons why this issue occurs and its negative effects.
There are three ways you can fix loose gutter nails—all of which are fairly easy. On top of that, you only need a few basic tools, such as a hammer and an electric screwdriver.
In some cases, you may take a trip to the hardware store. That depends on how far the spikes have come off and how many have gone loose.
Let’s look into your options:
Are the gutter nails slightly loosened? Are spikes mostly still in place?
If the answers are both yes, then the first way to fix the issue is to hammer them back in.
Before doing so, make sure to align the holes perfectly into the fascia board.
While at it, inspect the wood as well. See if the material has degraded, particularly where the nails have been attached.
You may need to drill new holes if the existing ones seem damaged. Otherwise, your gutter will sag sooner than you expect.
Moreover, check the spacers used in the installation. They should be in good condition to provide support.
Another way to fix loose gutter nails is to remove them altogether and replace them with screws. After all, nails are used in older gutter installations.
Nowadays, there are newer methods to secure the gutter to the fascia board.
An advantage of screws over nails is that they’re threaded, so they grind against the grain of the material they’re attached to. As a result, they have more holding power and are less likely to come loose.
For your replacement works, you need a set of gutter screws, which you can get easily in a hardware store. Just make sure you’re getting a length similar to the nails.
Although screws usually come with aluminum spacers, you can also reuse those previously installed on your gutter. Nevertheless, ensure that they’re in good condition.
Once you’re ready with your materials, you can follow the guide below:
Some loose nails will come off quickly, even just by hand pulling. If you intend to replace others that aren’t as far gone, use a hammer.
Make sure that you remove only the spikes and retain the aluminum spacers. These will keep your gutter in place so that it doesn’t bend when you pry.
You can place protective cardboard or wood between your hammer and the gutter exterior to avoid friction, scratches, and dents.
Before replacement, you need to check the holes on the fascia board. Assess if it’s still able to hold a new screw.
If the holes look degraded, drill new holes a little bit below the original ones. Although this gives a slightly off angle, the gutter will remain balanced.
The next step is to place the gutter screws with the corresponding spacer onto the fascia hole. Align and angle them correctly so that installation holds out for much longer.
Once everything is set, secure the gutter screws onto the board using an electric screwdriver. This ensures that they’re driven onto the wood with sufficient force.
The third way to fix loose gutter nails is to replace them with gutter brackets. This has the same result as a screw but looks neater.
Installation is quite easy, too. Some brackets also come with screws, which you can drill quickly into the fascia board.
Here are the simple steps to follow for installation:
- First, hook the front end of the hanger onto the lip of the gutter.
- Next, locate the hole for the screw.
- Then, align and clip the back of the hanger to this area.
- Lastly, place the screw through the hole and secure it to the fascia board with an electric screwdriver.
To keep your gutter from sagging, you may want to know why spikes come loose. Some factors are difficult to control, while others can be prevented.
Here are the key causes:
One of the major causes of loose gutter spikes is the accumulation of debris. This can come from leaves, stems, or twigs.
When too much weight from debris is put on the gutter, some of that strain goes to the nails. Eventually, they’ll become unhinged to the fascia board, which results in gutter sagging.
Moreover, this debris can clog water channels. Remove it regularly to prevent rainwater accumulation and subsequent damage to the gutter.
Weather and climatic conditions are also to blame for those loose gutter spikes. This is especially true when your area experiences drastic temperature changes.
Spikes are fastened to the fascia board, which is typically made out of wood. This material is sensitive to temperature and moisture.
When it gets hot, the wood can lose water and shrink. On the other hand, in cold weather, it may absorb moisture and expand.
In other words, the expansion and shrinkage can dislodge the nails out of place.
Another possible reason for loose gutter spikes is an incorrect installation.
Angle nails correctly and fasten them with enough force into the fascia board. Otherwise, they can come loose, even with little pressure.
Additionally, you need to space spikes appropriately. This results in an equal weight distribution throughout the gutter.
That said, they’ll likely last longer.
Gutters are designed to channel rainwater to a downspout, which leads to the ground. This function keeps your home safe from damage.
Therefore, you need to maintain your gutter spikes and fix them if damaged to keep your gutter in perfect condition. Otherwise, be prepared for the following possibilities:
Loose gutters can misdirect the flow of water instead of leading it downward and away from your home. If excess water penetrates gaps and cracks in the walls, this can spell disaster for interiors.
You may observe brown spots or patches in constantly affected areas. Worse, walls or ceilings may weaken and collapse in the long run.
Not just that; if a sagging gutter comes off, it can damage other properties, too.
A poorly-maintained gutter can cause accidents.
It may fall off and injure passersby. Water splashes can also cause slips.
Besides that, the regular run-down of water into your home makes it prone to microbial growth. That said, molds and bacteria pose health risks to your household.
A slumping gutter due to loose spikes can cause serious problems. But you can easily solve this with your knowledge of how to fix loose gutter nails.
If the issue is just a few spikes that aren’t far gone, then you can simply hammer them back in. Otherwise, you can replace them with gutter screws or gutter brackets.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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